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Site Reliability Engineer - France

Company: Element
Location: Walton
Posted on: November 22, 2021

Job Description:

Who We Are

Element is the startup that employs the core team behind matrix.org - the leading project for secure, open decentralised communication.

Matrix's mission is to make messaging as open as email - allowing everyone to choose where their data is hosted, enjoy private conversations thanks to advanced encryption, and ultimately be in control of their own communication.

Matrix powers our flagship messaging apps for the web, iOS & Android, along with Element Matrix Services, our SaaS platform for personal & professional use.

We build things for everyone, and we know we can't succeed without a diverse team. Our hiring process is designed to give candidates the best chance to show us what you can do. If we ever fall down on this, please let us know.

About Your Team

The client services team will be a brand new team within our Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) practice. This team will work with the Professional Services team to deliver Element Matrix solutions to our enterprise and government clients.This team will bring the best of various parts of our products together to solve customer specific problems. This team will also be working to enable customer teams in becoming proficient in managing their own Element Matrix deployments

The SRE practice today is comprised of a small team of five engineers working hard at transforming how operations and infrastructure is done within the organisation. We come from various backgrounds and are today a remote-first team with all of us working from different countries across Europe.

As part of our day-to-day operations, we use or touch on (in no particular order) AWS, UpCloud, Postgres, Grafana, Prometheus, Loki, Elasticsearch, PagerDuty, Python, AWS EKS, Red Hat OpenShift, GitLab, GitHub, Ansible, AWX, Terraform, Keycloak, Linux, Containers, Golang, HAProxy, Nginx to name a few.

The Team Today
The Client Services team is a brand new dedicated function we are building within the operations team. You will be one of the first members of this team. You will be assisted by the current members of the broader SRE practice. The following functions are what we do in service of our customers.
We consult with customers about best practices on running Element Matrix services on their premises. Translation - we try and determine what hardware they need, what architecture best suits their needs and what components are required for them to be successful.
We manage customer deployments on their behalf. Translation - we are on the hook for keeping customer deployments secure, up-to-date and ticking along smoothly. Depending on the customer we sometimes monitor their alerts and react to them; sometimes we are there only to help debug production issues. This also means, we ssh into their boxes, we run Ansible/terraform, we setup Grafana/Prometheus etc.
We support the business in closing deals. Translation - we are part of pre-sales processes where we help identify solutions that fit customer needs and validate solutions.

The Team Tomorrow
We are focussed on customer enablement. Translation - we provide customers with the knowledge and foundation to manage a successful deployment. We embed ourselves in customer teams, for a period of time, to assist them in developing reliable CI/CD pipelines and to advise them in selecting the correct infrastructure.We are focused on Site Reliability. Translation - we codify the operational tasks, automate the recovery from incidents and enable customers to manage cattle not pets.
We are cloud native and container first. Translation - our focus is on developing and delivering artefacts and automation predominantly targeting customers' cloud environments. Particularly, we are focused on container native environments running on both kubernetes clusters at scale.

If you have any questions before making an application reach out to Mohand (@mohandbouhadouf:matrix.org) via https://app.element.io

About You

Requirements

We are presently in the process of working towards our tomorrow. And we want to bring more team members along for this journey. We want to work with collaborative and kind people who do not mind experimenting with the unknown.

What We Care About
You are kind, empathetic and willing to share your knowledge and experience.
You are willing to ask for help and to provide it when you can.
You are keen on learning new things and figuring out how to improve the status quo.
We try (operative word here) to focus on getting things done right, but this does not mean we do it right the first time as being pragmatic is important to us.

What Are The Basics You Need
We do not need you to have any experience in decentralised communication, nor do we expect you to be experienced and knowledgeable in everything. However, there are few things that being familiar with will let you get your job done.
Linux Servers - You can ssh into a machine, update packages, get at logs, figure out why it is misbehaving.
Containers - You have built your own containers before, used it in anger, and understand the basics of how they work.
Infrastructure automation - You have worked with at least one of Terraform or Ansible. We are also happy if you have worked with similar tools, like Puppet, Chef or Saltstack etc.
Public/Private Cloud Providers - You have used at least one of AWS / Azure / GCP. Hopefully, you have used terraform to automate infrastructure on them.
Programming languages - You have written some meaningful code that did some of your automation for you. Preferably in Python or Go. You are able to look at an unknown code base and understand it enough to try debugging it in production.
Architecture and Solution Design - You can design solutions for complex use cases. You are able to take customer needs and product constraints into account when identifying what works and what does not work.

As this is a customer facing role, we really appreciate applicants with the following experience. Or at the very least enjoy doing the following.
Engaging customers as a representative of the company.
Working through customer requirements and identifying solutions and architectures that fit.
Written and verbal communication.
Embedding within customer organisations to help them understand and learn about our products.
Saying no with context when appropriate.

About The Process
Opportunity fit. At this stage you will be talking to the person you will be reporting to and a member of our people team. We will talk a bit about the company, about you, about the role etc. You will get a chance to ask questions and understand better if the role fits what you are looking for. Obviously, we will have a few questions for you as well, but no whiteboards or algorithms involved.
Offline coding exercise. We will send you a coding exercise, nothing overly complex. Something that might take someone 1-2 hours to complete. We are looking for your approach, an insight into how you solve a problem and basic smell tests on your coding practices.
Interview with the team. In this stage, you will be talking to a couple of members from the team. We will talk about your coding exercise submission and talk about improvements etc. You will get an opportunity to talk to the team about the day-to-day, the organisation, the team, their experiences etc. We will definitely ask some technical questions here. We are looking for insights into how you communicate your ideas and technical solutions. We expect the conversation to be two-way.
Architecture. Here, you will be talking to our VP of Engineering and the Founder/CTO. Expect conversations around architecture, building at scale etc. You will get the opportunity to understand more about Element's history, it's future direction etc.

Benefits

Our general approach is to treat people like adults and acknowledge that by being flexible we create an environment for people to do their best work. For more details here is our manifesto. That said specific points that differentiate us.
Our projects are almost entirely Free and Open Source Software, with high visibility and a large, enthusiastic community.
We fully support remote and flexible work, but also maintain offices in London and Rennes.
We strive to create a family friendly environment, many of the team have small children and we look to accommodate that as best we can.
People tend to stay with the company for a long time, we take this as a sign that we have a cohesive supportive culture, that we have engaging challenging work and that people can develop their skills and careers here for the long term.
Since our technology is relevant to anything that requires real-time comms, the role provides exposure to a wide range of domains from more traditional web and app development down to VoIP and IoT.

Element does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, colour, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities and benefits.

Keywords: Element, Scranton , Site Reliability Engineer - France, Professions , Walton, Pennsylvania

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